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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkin Puke #Spookamole Recipe

Who is getting excited about Halloween?  I have to admit, I’m not much of a Halloween fan… kids dressing up and going around house to house begging for candy… most of which will end up in the trash at the end of the night… doesn’t make sense to me.

Now, that being said, I do love hosting and attending parties… don’t really care the occasion!

If you are hosting OR attending a party this year, I have a seriously fun and easy recipe for you.

With all the candy and sweets all of us eat around this time of year, starting with Halloween and ending with Valentine’s Day, we really need something healthy to eat!  Hass avocados from Mexico are perfect for snacks at home, parties, or just to add to your favorite sandwich.  Avocados are available all year round, so it something healthy you can have in your house all the time (and we do!).

I know you are dying to hear what recipe I have for you, so here it is…
Pumpkin Puke!
Halloween recipe
Ummm… yum, right!?  Can you just see this in the middle of your table (or your friends’ table) at a Halloween party!!!!

Alright, so here’s your step by step:

First, wash the outside of your pumpkin (I suggest getting a couple so you have one to practice cutting on).  Awe… look at the pretty pumpkin!!
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Then make small slits in your pumpkin, just as you would a potato.  Just make sure you do it where no one will see since your pumpkin will be displayed!  I did a few on the bottom and a few on the top, like so:
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Now, your pumpkin is ready for the oven.  Let it cook on 350 for 45 minutes.  Remember to use pads or gloves when taking it out of the oven!  Set it down on the stove or counter.  Now, you can let it cool down a tad, but it’s not really necessary.  I started the next steps right away.  It’s really up to you.

First thing you will do with your pumpkin is make a nice round cut around the top to remove the top of the pumpkin.  Be gentle with this, though, because you will be putting it back on the finished product.

There will be a few seeds on the top of the pumpkin you just cut off.  Go ahead and scrape those off into a bowl.  Then, scrape the rest of the ‘guts’ out of the pumpkin into a bowl like so:
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I used a serrated grapefruit spoon, but a regular spoon would work, too.

Now, it’s time for the fun part!  Carving the puke face!  For the eyes, you will do a kind of crescent moon, with half circles at the top.  For the mouth, just a circle.  It’s best described in a picture:
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I would like to note, this is just the face I came up with…. use your imagination and do something different if you don’t like this one.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter!  Have fun with it!

Next, make your favorite guacamole recipe.  Mine has avocados, roma tomatoes, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Guacamole is such an easy and forgiving recipe.  It’s super hard to mess it up.  Sometimes, I just make it with avocados and spices and skip the tomatoes and onion.  For this recipe, though, I highly recommend the tomatoes and onions, even if they aren't your favorite, because it adds to the ‘puke’.

Alright, at this point, your pumpkin should be carved and your guacamole is made.  Now, put your pumpkin on a large plate or serving platter.  Serving platter works best if you have one.  Put it on the end or edge of the plate.  Add a spoonful of guacamole through the top of the pumpkin and put it on the bottom of the pumpkin by his mouth.  Then, spread the remainder of the guacamole out from his mouth onto the plate.  Surround the guacamole with chips and it is ready to serve!
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How stinkin’ perfect is that for your next Halloween gathering??

If you have a fun idea for a Spookamole recipe, go ahead and make it and take pictures, because Avocados from Mexico is running a contest!  Submit your recipe HERE.  You DO NOT have to have a blog in order to enter the contest!  Just a fun, yummy recipe.  Smile

Have fun creating your recipes!
~Nicole~

Discloser: I wrote this review while participating in a Spookamole blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Avocados from Mexico and received avocado items to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tri-Cross from Games for Competitors Review

This game is a cross between checkers and chess.  It has some of the same concepts of checkers in that you are jumping over pieces and removing them from the board, but there is more strategy involved, just as there is in chess.

 

I was sent the Standard board game, as well as the Eco-Friendly version of the game.  Being the natural girl that I am, I definitely prefer the eco-friendly version.  It’s the same game either way, but the eco-friendly version doesn’t have all the packaging and so on.  In fact, my only complaint with this product is that the standard version has a box that is WAY to big for the game with a big piece of plastic in the middle so that everything looks pretty inside.  And, while it is a good presentation, I think it’s unnecessary.  Make sense?  Other than that, I am very happy with the game!

                

Honestly, this game is a little too old for my kids.  The game is for ages 10 to adult (my kids are 3, 7, and 9).  Now, that being said, it’s a great game for my husband and I to play with the 7 and 9 year old on teams.  So we can each pair up with a kid and we can teach the child how to play that way.  It’s a great avenue to create bonds with your child, as well as teach them strategy in game playing.  We own a few other games that we do this with and I feel it has helped our kids think outside the box and think ahead to their next move, etc..

 

Another great thing is that they also sent me a CD that has tutorials on how to play the game.  Everyone learns differently, and sometimes it’s nice to see and hear how to play a game!

 

Information at a glance:

Product: Tri-Cross

Price: $19.95 – $35.95 (depending on which version you like)

Where to buy: Tri-Cross website or Retail stores

Skills learned:

  • Logical Thinking
  • Cause and Effect
  • Predicting
  • Interpreting Outcomes
  • Abstract Thinking
  • Memory (In Variations of Play)
  • Visualization

Ages: 10 to Adult

 

I do recommend this game.  My husband and I are ‘game players’, if you will, and this is one we will add to our repertoire.

 

~Nicole~

Disclaimer: I was given both versions of the game spoken about in this post in order to facilitate the review.

AIMS Review

Have you all heard of the AIMS Education Foundation?  I had the opportunity to review their Getting Into Geometry book.
This book is great.  It makes learning about shapes fun!  It starts out with 2-D shapes.  It shows your child how they can make shapes into other things (like the pic on the front of the book above).  Then they move to 3-D objects, showing the comparisons between the 2-D and 3-D objects.  The book has great games too, to help your child learn the concepts.  I also want to note that there is a CD that comes with the book.  The CD has the activities from the book.  It makes it super easy for you to print them off.

It is important to note that AIMS gives permission to make up to 200 copies of the activities if you are wanting to use them in a classroom setting.  I’m sure that would be a major benefit for those teaching in a public or private school setting or for those that teach in homeschool co-ops.  Honestly, I think it’s very generous of them to offer that!

I’ve told you in the past, I am not the most creative person, so this book is great for our family.  It gives me activities to do with my kids that are fun!

Information at a glance:
Product: Getting Into Geometry
Price: $24.95
Where to buy: AIMS website
Age: K-1 (for this book... AIMS has products for grades K-9)
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~Nicole~

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the book mentioned in this post in order to facilitate the review.Price

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Before Five in a Row Review


Before Five in a Row is a book geared towards children from age 2 to 4.  This book is perfect for my youngest who is 3, so I was excited to be able to review it.

My daughter is dying to do ‘cool’ just like her older siblings and I thought this would be perfect for that.  Well, it’s not necessarily, because the things the book gives you to do with your young child makes it so that the child doesn’t really even know they are learning.  Which, by the way, I think is great.  It’s just that she wants to do worksheets… I know… not the normal 3 year old!

Anyway, that being said, I definitely still like this book and will continue to use it.

It has 2 main sections.  In Part 1, it has a list of stories to read to your child.  With that, it also has fun activities and such that you can do that relate to the story you just read.  The idea is the read the same book over and over for a week and each day you would do a new thing that Before Five in a Row suggests in correlation with that book.  I love this, because I am not the most creative momma and this gives me ideas!

In Part 2, it has tons of ideas and activities to help your child achieve reading readiness and a love of reading.  Again, not being the most creative or artsy momma out there, I love that the book spells it out for me.

I will definitely continue to use this book on a weekly basis to help me with ideas to do with my youngest!

Information at a glance:
Name of product: Before Five in a Row
For Ages: 2-4
Price: $35
Where to buy: Rainbow Resource (this is the only place you can buy the book)
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~Nicole~
Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this post.  I did receive a copy of the book to facilitate the review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ALEKS Math 2 Month Free Trial

ALEKS logo

Have you heard of ALEKS online math program?

 

Well, whether you have or haven’t, now is the perfect time to get introduced to it!  They are offering a 2 month free trial to their program for all homeschoolers! (click on 2 month free trial if you want the free trial)

 

I’m excited about this, because I have checked out their website in the past and it looks and sounds great, but I never wanted to spend the money on something I wasn’t even sure if I would like.

 

Now, I get to try it for free and so do you! Smile  Enjoy!

 

Disclaimer: I DID NOT receive any compensation or free product for this post, I just wanted to share the good news that I thought my readers would like to know!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

#Mompact Blog Hop Review & Giveaway Label-Itz

I have teamed up with 119 other blogs in a giveaway event that features businesses owned by moms.
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Click on this pretty rectangle to find out more about MomPact... Us moms need to stick together!
You will have the opportunity to win mom made products on each of the 120 blogs (including mine).  All you have to do is hop around to the different blogs and enter each one.  Easy, right?

I know you want to know what I’m giving away on my blog, so I’ll get right to it.

I am giving away products from Label-Itz from ViveVita.  Here’s a little bit about the company:
ViveVita
I got to review the bandette cup labels, toothbands, and my spot.
bandette

Bandettes are a cool way to keep children's cups from getting mixed up.  I know at our house when my youngest drinks after the other two, they get annoyed.  Rightfully so, she is still pretty young and doesn’t know how to drink without letting food go in the glass if she is eating!  The only complaint I would have with the bandettes is that they are hard to get on and off the glass.  Maybe it’s just the size glass I use with them?  At the same time, maybe that’s a good thing that they are hard to get on and off, because that means your child can’t take them on and off easily!  Anyway, other than that, they are great and an easy way to keep track of whose glass is whose.
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The toothbands are a toothbrush label that you can put on your children’s toothbrushes, that again, make it simple to distinguish one toothbrush from another.  I always get different colored toothbrushes for that, but it would be nice to not have to stand in the toothbrush isle forever trying to find the right color.  With the toothbands, it doesn’t matter what color toothbrush your child has, you but the toothband on their toothbrush (the same color as their bandette so there is unity) and they will always know which one is theirs!
My Spot
Lastly, the My Spot.  My spot is a soft, flexible pad that you can use for a number of things.  We put ours at the dinner table.  The kids are always arguing over what seat is theirs.  Well, now, I just put their My Spot down, and that’s their seat!  You can also use it as a time out seat and put it where you like in the house.

All 3 products come in the same color palettes with the same characters on each, so that if you have all the products (and you will, if you win my prize pack), you can keep the color consistent with each child.  So, one child would have the orange lion for the bandette, toothband AND my spot.  Make sense?  I hope so!

Alright… on to the giveaway!  You know you want these for your kiddos!  Even if you only have one child, they are still great for playdates! (the bandettes and my spot)

Enter on the Rafflecopter form below!  Good luck and when you are finished entering mine, you can hop on over to the next blog by clicking the Candyland type picture at the bottom of this post!


Mompact Next Blog

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Master Cleanse–Done!

It is the end of day 10 of my cleanse and I thought I would just give you all an update of how the last few days went.

I did do the salt water flush like I said I would.  I drank it on days 7, 8, and 9 and then decided to skip it this morning (Day 10).  Let’s just say… it didn’t work out.  I’m not sure that I will ever willingly swallow salt water again.  I’m sure it works great for some people… I’m just not one of those people.

These last couple of days, have been harder than the rest of the cleanse.  For some reason, I have felt hungry.  Other times during the cleanse, when I felt hungry, I would just drink some of the lemonade and I’d be fine.  Well, the last couple days, that didn’t suffice.  Yes, I probably could have or should have just drank more, but I didn’t.

Anyway, today is the end of day 10 and tomorrow I plan on beginning my after fast preparations or as some call it the ease out.  It is not wise to just start eating whatever you want after you have been only drinking lemonade (and tea and saltwater) for 10 days.  You will undoubtedly become ill.  In short, your body will hate you.  Not to mention, it could mess up all that you have accomplished for your body over the 10 day period, making it a waste of time!  I definitely want these 10 days to mean something, so I’m doing the ease out!

The Master Cleanse book suggests you drink orange juice for the first day of your ease out.  The next day you are to drink orange juice vegetable based broth soup. Then, on your 3rd and final ease out day, you are to eat orange juice for breakfast, the vegetable soup for lunch and what ever you want in the form of salad, fruit and veggies for dinner.

I’m doing it a little different and praying I won’t get sick…

I am going to drink orange juice for my first ease out day.  Then on days 2 and 3 of my ease out, I am going to eat fruits and veggies.  I plan on avocados, asparagus, apples, bananas, squash, green peppers, tomatoes and salad.  You have no idea how yummy all of that sounds right now! 

I’m happy to be done and hope that my body is a little healthier for it.  Thanks for coming along with me for the ride.

 

~Nicole~

Friday, September 16, 2011

Big IQ Kids Review

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If your kids love to play on the computer, but you want them to do something educational, Big IQ Kids is the perfect solution!

My kids have liked using this program.  They can learn math, spelling, vocabulary and geography with it.  You can customize it so that it is at your child’s level of learning.  I love that.  Whenever a program allows me to do that, I always put my kids at a level lower than what they should be, just to make sure we haven’t missed anything!  Then, I can move them up as they progress, OR if you are using Big IQ Kids, you will find that the programs moves your child up on its own.  It can perceive when your child is progressing enough to move up a level.  Perfect!

So, here’s how it works:  Your child will do one lesson per day per subject.  This will really only take 15 minutes or so.  And, again, the program will move them up when mastery is achieved.

Here’s an example of a math drill page:Photobucket
You can set it up so that it gives your child a certain percentage of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc.  You can also set it up so that it times them if you want to do it that way, too!

You are able to personalize the spelling program too.  The program has a set of word you can use, or you can use your own words if you would like to, as well.  It tells your child how to spell the word, the definition, and uses it in a sentence.

The Geography program is great.  You can check out the screen shot below to learn all the things it will teach/test your child on… location, spelling, capital and abbreviation.
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With each lesson your child will earn coins which they can use to play games in the game room.  Of course, my kids usually wanted to do more lessons so they could earn more coins and play more games!  I would have to cut them off at some point, because educational or not, we limit computer time.  It’s nice that they are having fun on the computer with something educational, though!

Okay, enough out of me, here’s all the info you will need if you want to start using Big IQ Kids!
Name of the program: Big IQ Kids 
Site Address: www.bigiqkids.com
For Ages: Grade K to age 99! (Their spelling and vocabulary lists go up to words used for the SAT!)
Price: As low as $7.99 per month.  You can also pay for a year in advance if you prefer.  Check HERE for complete pricing information.
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~Nicole~
Disclaimer: My family has been granted complimentary access to the site in order to facilitate this review.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Master Cleanse – Mid Week

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog, I’ve been doing the Master Cleanse this week.  It is a fast that entails you drinking a mixture of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper.

 

I updated you all on the first couple days of my fast and then I neglected you all.  I know you’ve been losing sleep wondering how my fast has been going… did I quit?… how do I feel?… so many questions keeping you up at night…

 

Well, first of all, yes I am still on the fast and I feel great!

 

On day 3, we went to a friends house.   A few close friends had run a 5K that morning and were having a gathering afterwards to eat and socialize.  My best friends grandpa was going to be there, whom I haven’t seen in 9 years, as well as her parents, whom I also haven’t seen in a long time (not as long as 9 years, but still a long time)… so I really wanted to go.  Of course, I wanted to see everyone else, but Grandpa (I call my best friend’s grandpa, Grandpa) lives in New Mexico, so I had to see him now or wait until the next trip!  Annnnnyway, so we went to the family’s house.  There was sooooo much food.  Somehow, it didn’t bother me at all.  I drank my lemonade, and I was fine.  Now, that being said, I drank more that day than any other day.  I think seeing all the food, just made me want to drink more.

 

We didn’t drink the tea that morning either, because we didn’t want to have to be using the bathroom in someone else’s house.  We did drink it that night though.

 

On day 4, we drank the tea again, and consequently, decided to skip church since we weren’t sure how our bodies would react to the tea.  It ended up we were fine and probably could have gone, but I guess better safe than sorry?  We just hang out at the house and the day went well.  Nothing really to report.

 

On day 5, Hubby had to go to work and the kids and I had to go to our home school school, so we opted not to drink the tea again.  I took 80 oz. of lemonade with me to school.  By the time we were leaving at 4pm, it was gone.  Again, I think having to watch other people eat and smelling food all day, made me want to drink more.  Basically, I’m smelling food and now my body thinks it’s going to get food, so it does all the things a body normally does when it smells food, therefore making me feel hungry.  Again, I didn’t emotionally mind watching people eat, it just made me drink more.  Not a bad thing, I guess.

 

I did drink the tea at the end of day 5, since I was just going to be home with the kids the next day.

 

Alrighty….  that’s my mid week update!

 

I also wanted to tell you all that I spoke with a couple of friends at school yesterday that have both done the fast and they gave me some advice.  In the book, it is suggested that you drink a saltwater mixture in the morning, lemonade the rest of the day and then the herbal laxative tea at night before you go to bed.  It says the saltwater thing is just a suggestion and that you could just do the tea morning and night.  Saltwater is disgusting to me, so I opted to just do the tea morning and night (or not at all. lol).  My friends say that the saltwater flush is crucial and that I really need to do it in the mornings.  They both said that if I drink the saltwater as soon as I wake up in the morning, that I don’t have to worry about where I will be, or what I will be doing, because my body will be done eliminating within an hour. (sorry if that is tmi)  That sounds good to me, but I am not looking forward to drinking it!  I will try that on day 7 (I’m writing this on day 6, and the day is half over, so I can’t do it today).

 

Okay girls and boys, that’s all for my Master Cleanse update. Thanks for reading if you actually made all the way to the end!  Have a great day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11 and Telling Your Kids

There are moments in history where I've heard people say they will never forget where they were when they heard the news.  The attack at Pearl Harbor, JFK being shot, the Berlin Wall coming down... I'm positive there are many people that know where they were during those events.

I know exactly where I was on September 11 2001.  I had a 7 o'clock class at Life University that morning and I was just going home for a little break because my next class wasn't until 11.  I was sitting on Life's Way waiting to pull out onto Cobb Parkway when I heard on the radio that a plane had hit one the World Trade Center towers.  At this point, it had just happened and of course, no one thought that someone had actually done this on purpose.

I continued on home, which was only a few minutes drive, and as soon as I got home I turned on the news.  I'm not generally a news watcher, but I wanted to see what was going on with this plane!  Almost immediately upon turning on the news, the second plane hit the other tower.

I just sat there.  As I'm sure most of America and the world... I was stunned.

The shock of it all subsided fairly quickly and it turned into sheer devastation.  I bawled like a baby!  I was 7 months pregnant and I remember calling my mom and saying something about not wanting to bring a baby into this horrible world!  She reminded me I didn't have a choice and I continued to bawl like a baby calmed down a little.

My hubby was out doing some marketing for his office and so I couldn't get a hold of him.  I new he was fine... I mean we were in Marietta, GA... of course, that being said, I also remember talk of being worried that Dobbins Air Force base could be a target as well.  At that point, no one knew to what extent we were being attacked and thought Dobbins could get hit.  My brother and countless friends lived about 400 yards from Dobbins (as the crow flies), not to mention, the University I was going to was about the same distance.  That fear subsided fairly quickly as the day went on.

My hubby's brother lives in Manhattan, and we weren't really sure if he would be in the path of the debris in the area or if he would be in any danger at all.  I didn't have his number to call him and my hubby wasn't home.  It ended up that he was fine, but I was concerned... nothing compared to the concern of the people who had friends and family members IN the buildings!

I'll never forget this one girl from my class... I was in clinic and there was a crowd around her trying to console her.  Her dad worked in one of the towers.  They couldn't get a hold of him to see if he was okay, because all the phone lines were tied up in NYC.  I'm not sure when they finally found out, but he was okay.  He got out of the building.  He was actually on a floor above where the plane hit and he is one of the many unsung heroes.  Not only did he get out, but he helped a woman out that, because of disabilities, would not have gotten out without that help.  One of the many heroic stories of the day.

Anyway, I missed my 11 o'clock class.  I just sat on the couch.  The rest of the day is pretty much a blur other than my memory of seeing my classmate in clinic who was worried about her dad.

Now, ten years later, I have 3 kids.  I hadn't told them about that day.  I guess I was just trying to shield them from all the wickedness.  Well, the other day, they were talking about it on the t.v. and I just started crying.  That kind of forced me tell them something.  How much do I tell them?  How many details?

I ended up (through tears... not my best mommy moment) telling them that some bad people took over some planes and ran them into the World Trade Centers.  I continued and told them about the heroic people on Flight 93 who took over the plane, knowing that they would die, so they could save who knows how many lives.  I even showed them a few pictures I found online.  Some of the pictures were inappropriate for their age, so I told them they could see those when they were older.

I told them it was a sad day.

What else is there to say to a 9 and 7 year old?

If you feel like sharing, tell me where you were on that day in a comment.  Some people don't like rehashing this every year.  I don't think it's a bad thing.  Lots of lives were lost for no good reason.  Why can't we talk about it?  Don't you talk about loved ones that have passed on when it is their birthday?  I want to remember.  I want to remember that we aren't invincible.  But that when bad things happen, we can turn to God and to the friends and family he has placed in our life to get through those bad times.

Here's my sweet girl that was born 2 months and a day after 9/11.  So happy she is in my life.

~Nicole~

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Master Cleanse–Day 2

2 days down, 8 to go!

 

Day 2 went well.  I skipped the herbal tea again.  I drank 80 oz. of the lemonade. 

 

There were times throughout the day that I would get a headache, but it seemed to go away if I just drank a glass of the lemonade.

 

My hubby joined me in the fast, so that was nice.  Now we are partners in the endeavor and I’m sure that will make it easier for both of us.  We are using organic lemons, organic cayenne pepper, and organic grade B maple syrup.  It makes it quite a bit more expensive, but we aren’t buying food for us, so I guess it will all balance out.

 

I did end up getting a little nauseous around 7ish… not sure what that was about.  Hubby and I both ended up going to bed around 8:30.  Normally, we stay up, watch some t.v., drink coffee, and snack on whatever.  I guess neither one of us wanted to fight all that, plus we were both just super tired.  We were both fast asleep by 9!!  If you know me at all, you know how crazy that is… I’m usually up pretty late every night.

 

That’s it folks.  Day 2 is done.  See ya tomorrow.

Briggs & Riley BRX Luggage Shopping

When you are traveling, do you sometimes wish you could fit everything you need into one piece of luggage instead of carrying multiple bags? 

My hubby desperately needed a new piece of luggage.  In fact, he has never owned an actual piece of luggage, you know, like the kind that is rectangular and rolls on wheels?  He has a huge duffle bag and a few little bags that he uses when we go out of town.  We never have gotten him a piece of luggage, I guess mostly because he just didn’t complain about it… he would have rather spent the money on other stuff… the priority just wasn’t there.

Well, I have been given the opportunity to review the BRX Adventure Gear line of luggage by Briggs & Riley and decided it was time to get some luggage for my sweetie!

I looked up all their luggage online so I could see ahead of time what we would want.  We really like the Explorer 19 and the Explorer 22.  Both are able to be carry-ons on a plane, so that is definitely an appealing feature.  Hubby was also interested in the Messenger bag, because he doesn’t like his computer bag.  Ultimately, we decided to go with the Explorer 22, because it was larger than the Explorer 19 and you could still carry it on planes.  That way, it would work for short or long trips.  So, we went to Cumberland Transit in Nashville to get hubby’s new luggage.

The people at the store were extremely helpful.  At the store, I wanted to confirm that the 22 would be okay as a carryon, because it looked quite large to me.  The person helping us went and got a little informational flyer/catalog for Briggs and Riley so that we could read more about it.  With that, we were able to confirm it was good as a carry on.
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Hubby checking out the luggage!
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Now, does he want the grey or the blue??  (He picks the grey)

Perfect!  Hubby is giddy for some new luggage AND there is a pocket in the front where you can put your computer so you don’t have to carry a separate computer bag!  It really is a great feature.  All the people that travel for work need this piece of luggage.  Being able to pack everything in one place is a major plus!

You can get connected with Briggs & Riley online on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, in a couple weeks hubby and I will be traveling to MI… without kids!!… to go to his hdmssmph high school reunion.  The BRX Adventure Gear will be with us and we can really see how well it holds up!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Master Cleanse - Day 1

Have any of you heard of the Master Cleanse - AKA Lemonade Diet?  Please don't misunderstand the word diet... yes, you can lose weight on this, but the point of the Master Cleanse... is just that... to cleanse your body.

I haven't been treating my body the best since Olivia stopped nursing, as you may have figured out from my sweet tea post.

So, I decided it was time for a cleansing fast.  A lot of people misunderstand fasts... fasts are generally not done for weight loss.  I'm sure if you have weight to lose, you will lose some during a fast, but if you go right back to your old way of eating, the weight won't stay off anyway.  People fast for many reasons, but I think the most common reasons are cleansing of the body or self discipline/spiritual reasons.

When you fast, you allow the body to have the time and space to get rid of toxins from the body.  On a day to day basis, if you don't eat healthy foods, it's hard for your body to get rid of all the waste that we put in it.  A fast every now and then is a good way to help your body do that.  Of course, ideally, we should just all eat healthy every day of our lives, but unless you have super human discipline, that's probably not going to happen.

Okay... on the talking about the Master Cleanse.  You can google and find lots of information about the cleanse, but the gist of it is you drink a mixture of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for 10 days.  It is also recommended that you drink a laxative herbal tea morning and night, but I'm not sure that it is crucial to the cleanse.

I started the cleanse on Thursday, Sept, 8th (yesterday).  On Wednesday night, before bed, I drank a cup of herbal laxative tea as directed in the book. ( I also pre-made an 80 oz batch of the lemonade so I would be ready for the next day.)  I drank another cup of the tea when I woke up yesterday.  Then for the remainder of the day, I drank the lemonade mixture.  I chose to forgo the tea last night because I spent way too much time in the bathroom (sorry if that was tmi).  I'm sure I will go back to the tea, but for now, I'm taking a break from it.
My yummy mixture


I felt pretty good most of the day.  I did get hungry, of course, but when I felt hungry I just drank my mixture and felt fine after that.  I made ribs and green string beans for dinner, because I don't like either of those foods! :) I have fasted in the past, but not since I had kids and had to prepare foods for other people while fasting... it wasn't too tortuous yesterday... we'll see how the rest of the 10 days goes.

I did get a pretty gnarly headache at the end of the day, but that's because I was running out of my mixture and we were out of water, so I couldn't make more. (We don't drink our faucet water... if you tasted it, you would understand)  After my hubby got home, I went to the store and got more water and was able to make more of my mixture.  At that point, though, my body was pretty mad at me, so I just went to bed at 9 and called it a day.

I'll continue to update you throughout my fast on how I'm feeling and what I think of it all.

Have a great day!

~Nicole~

LaMomba - Connecting Brands and Blogs


This is a new site I wanted to share with all my fellow bloggers!

Here is their Mission from their home page:

"LaMomba aims to illuminate brand directories and blog connections through our Connectory. The simple, quick-look style is saving both brands and bloggers thousands of hours that had previously been spent searching hundreds of sites in the blogosphere for just the right match. LaMomba is as easy as sign-in, seek-out, search over. Our goal is to save you time, money, energy and resources. LaMomba's Connectory will be your one portal, your blog-a-dex, your yellow-pages, your connection."

You can sign up for free on their site till 9-10-11... tomorrow!
It's super quick to sign up.  Go HERE to sign up and please let them know that Nicole from Some Call It Natural sent ya!

~Nicole~

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Best Purchase Ever -{ WW }


~Nicole~

Flea Circus

No, this is not a post about the fleas that our new cat has (oh… did I mention we got a cat this summer?)… anyway, it’s about a super fun game called Flea Circus.  This is my first review as a TOS Crew member!

This game is great!  My kids enjoyed playing it so much that when they were finished playing it the first time, they immediately played it again… that’s a winner!


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My girly reading the directions to make sure she plays the right card!

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And now she gets to collect her dogs and cats (points)!


My husband and I played it with the kids, too, and neither one of us wanted to gouge our eyes out… you know the type of game I’m talking about folks… everyone has one or two in their house.  Well, this one is not bad AND it doesn’t take forever either… which is a plus as a lazy parent too.
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What do you think, Mom, should I play this one?
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Look at that handsome smile!  It must have been the right card!
 

As far as how to play… here’s what the explanation on the website says:

STEP RIGHT UP! Calling all Cats and Dogs! The Flea Circus is about to begin!
It's a wild time under the Big Top as dogs and cats race from one show to the next. Players use their best Flea Circus acts to attract the most cats and dogs. Play your cards right and you can steal the audience away from your neighbor! But watch out for the Animal Catcher... He'll snatch your cats and dogs away!
With all this excitement, how's a Flea Ring Circus supposed to keep up? When all the cats and dogs are gone, whoever ends up with the most animals at their show wins the game!

If you are like me, that’s about as clear as mud (yes, I live in the south).  Well, I thought about how to explain in to you so it would be understandable… I’m kind of at a loss… basically, you lay cards down… those cards decide how many dogs and cats (points) you get to pick up.  At the end of the game, the one with the most points, wins the game.  Dogs are worth 2 points and Cats are worth 1 point.

The game is great for helping with math skills and strategy and deduction.  I love it, because the kids are learning, but don’t really know… well, they might know, but they don’t care, because they are having so much fun!
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Here's a close up of all the cute dogs and cats.
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Here's my cutie acting like one of the dogs or cats.

Information at a glance:
Name of the game: Flea Circus
Company to buy it from: R&R Games
For Ages: 6 and up
How many can play?: 2-6
Price: $15.95 (worth it, in my opinion)

If you are wishing you had this game for your family, now is the perfect  time to get it!  R&R Games is offering a 20% discount to my readers (and all TOS Crew review readers).  Use the code, CREW20 until December 31st... just in time for the holidays!!!

Some of my fellow TOS Crew members reviewed Flea Circus as well as a game called Pig Pile.  Go HERE to check out their reviews!

~Nicole~

Disclaimer: As per FCC guidelines, please understand that I received Flea Circus at no charge in exchange for an honest review.  I was in no way obligated to give a positive review.  I will never tell you I love a product if I really don’t love it.  I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night… and I love to sleep.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Need a Way to Remember Labor Day and Memorial Day?


Anyone else out there get Labor Day and Memorial Day mixed up?


No, just me?


Oh well, I’m going to tell you anyway… if nothing else, I can look up this blog post anytime I forget again!


It’s so easy, I don’t know why I never thought of it before!  Labor day is around when school starts back up again after summer break… school is definitely labor!!

... or maybe that's just for homeschoolers??


I know this isn’t the most deep thing you’ve ever heard, but maybe it will help you!

No, this is not what school always looks like at our house, but I thought this picture was too cute not to share. :)  It's from 2 years ago, so our baby is now a toddler... crazy!  Time flies!!


~Nicole~

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway

Who likes coconut oil here?  Have you ever used it or thought coconuts were just used as crunchy yumminess on the top of cookies or sundaes?


Coconuts are sooooo good for you.  They have a list of health benefits longer than I care to list or you probably care to read (None of which are approved by the FDA… in case you were wondering).  According to Coconut Research Center.org, “Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness.”  You can check out that site for a long list of health benefits they have found if you are curious.


So, how do you get your hands on some of this wonderful yumminess?  Well, I highly recommend Tropical Traditions for your coconut needs. Smile  They still do things the ‘old fashioned’ way and because of that, their coconut is super high quality!


Here’s a video that will tell you more about how they extract their Gold Label coconut oil and how it is different than others on the market:


Tropical Traditions has some great looking recipes on their site if you are interested in using your coconut oil in that way.  I have a confession to make… I don’t like the taste of coconut… so I didn’t try any of the recipes.  I have put it in smoothies for the kids and I and it’s… okay.  I use it more medicinally (again, not FDA approved, so it is self prescribed medicine).  It has been used as a lotion and to relieve the pain of sunburns, as well as to try to keep it from peeling.  It does seem to work!  The thing I think it has been used the most for in our house, though is on baby bums.  Anytime our kids had a rash on their bum or just any kind of irritation anywhere, there were 3 things I turned to and coconut oil was one of them.  Seriously… it always seemed to work to clear it up and it definitely soothed the area.

After hearing all of this, you know you want some for yourself… go ahead… go buy some!!

Right now, until Sept. 8, 2011 their Organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is on sale, Buy One Get One Free!!!

Also,you could also win a jar for yourself here on my blog!

That’s right, one lucky winner will win a 32oz. jar of the Organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Exciting News!

This is not new news, but I just realized that I haven’t told you all yet…

I am on The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) Crew review team
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AND the Timberdoodle review team!
Timberdoodle

What does that mean for you guys?


Simply put, it means you get to hear about A LOT of super cool products!  Don’t worry if you don’t homeschool, not all of them are just for homeschoolers.  In fact, my first couple of reviews will be perfect for any family with kids!

Now, if you don’t have kids… you don’t have to worry either… not all of my posts will be reviews! Smile

Okay, that’s pretty much the gist of it… I just wanted to share!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to be on both of these review teams!